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Why does the same Autotask Resource keep getting escalated tickets?

If you have a ticket routing rule that manages an escalation and you find that the same team member keeps getting assigned escalated tickets, there are a two common reasons why:

  • Other team members are blocked due to external appointments.
  • No automatic scheduling/blocking out of time.

Let’s dig more into each of the two.

Reason: Other team members are fully scheduled

Let’s say you have a tier 1 team with three members: Alex, Frank, and Sue. If Alex and Frank are both fully booked through the week, then Sue will get every escalation UNTIL she is as booked as Alex and Frank. Once that happens, Rocketship will more evenly distribute the tickets.

This is expected and per design. Rocketship strives to spread out work evenly — if two members, Alex and Frank in this example, are blocked out for 90% of their work capacity, and Sue is only 10%, you would expect any dispatcher to hand work to Sue until she is also at 90%.

Check External Appointments

If your team does not have the workload that corresponds to being fully booked, a common cause is that External Appointments are blocking their schedule. An External Appointment is any appointment imported from Exchange via the Autotask Exchange Connector. So, if Alex and Frank have, for example, put “working from home” on their Outlook calendar from 8am to 5pm, then Rocketship will see them as booked for that time because that is how it is imported into Autotask (whether it is set as Free or Busy in Outlook).

You can configure Rocketship to ignore External Appointments at the Resource or Scheduling Recipe level. That said, it’s best to keep it enabled and instead ensure your team is not blocking out time on their calendar that is in fact not actual work or meetings.

Reason: Not Updating Resource Workload

When you configure a Ticket Routing workflow, you have the option to auto-schedule resources. If you do not enable this, Rocketship will NOT block out time for the Resource. If it doesn’t block out time, Rocketship has no way of knowing that the Resource is busy. Thus, it will continue escalating tickets to them.

Put another way, Rocketship dynamically computes the “workload” of an Autotask Resource by the appointments on their schedule (this is the sum of Next Activities, Fixed Appointments, Company Holidays, and External Appointments). If Rocketship is not adding to this workload using Next Activities when it escalates tickets, each Resource does not appear any more, or less, busy than before the ticket was escalated to them.

Example: Mark gets all the work

Max and Mark are in a team assigned to the 1st tier of the Default Ticket Routing rule’s workflow. There is no Next Activity Recipe assigned to this tier. When a ticket is dispatched via this routing rule, Rocketship will look at the schedule of each Resource, and assign the ticket to the one that is 1st free. In this example, let’s say that Max has 20 hours of work andMark has 25. Based on this, Rocketship will use this logic: Assign to Tier 1 -> Assign to Max

Now, let’s say a new ticket comes in. Rocketship against dynamically calculates the schedule (workload) of reach Resource and comes up with the same result: Max has 20 hours of work and Mark has 25.

Thus, Rocketship follows the exact same pattern: Assign to Tier 1 -> Assign to Mark.

Solution: Auto-schedule Next Activities for Tier 1

If you have multiple members in a team and that team is assigned as a tier in a Ticket Routing rule’s workload, you must auto-schedule Next Activities via the rule’s workflow to “consume” the Resource’s schedule, increasing their workload.

In this example, once Mark has 5 more hours of work, Rocketship will begin evenly distributing work between Mark (who started with 20 hours but now has 25 hours) and Mandy (who started with 25 hours) until they both have 30 hours of work. Then Rocketship will begin evenly distributing the work between Mark, Mandy, and Chris because now they all have 30 hours of work each.

In this way, Rocketship ensures your team is maximized in terms of work bandwidth.

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In this webinar, Dustin Puryear, Autotask expert and MSP industry veteran, will show you how to set up Kanban boards in Autotask, integrate them with your workflow rules, and how to get the most out of them.

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